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Lullaby #4

by Vahni Capildeo

For an unfamily chantant Noël


a cello is a chamber full of silk cotton

bow down   alley of lime trees   let my children pass

frightful with   sweetness tilleul   ombrageux unborn

undouen children   pass   you   are the Christmas blossom

laid like guipure on the Savannah you picnic

thoughtfully on   dark red   sorrel, fallen sweat bands,

dark chocolate coated leaf cutter ants   night picks up

flambeaux to stay awake   from you, O my children,

but I tell you, under   every   tree  is your space,

under the   grass the   water reservoir   is yours,

your dreams pass lisping into it   when speechmakers

call on ancestors   oh   that isn’t you, little ones,

never-was, little   piping ones,   oh   no, you are

the cough in an altar-boy’s throat   are   the scrape of shoes

being tied mid-run   come   eat a bench   drink an owl


Lullaby #5

Published: October 2020
Vahni Capildeo

is Writer in Residence at the University of York, where their research focus is on silence. Recent work includes Skin Can Hold (Carcanet, 2019), Odyssey Calling (Sad Press, 2020) and Light Site (Periplum Poetry, 2020), reflecting Capildeo’s interest in place, plurilingualism, and immersive or participatory performance, such as Trinidad’s traditional masquerade.

An Australian and international
journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics.

Plumwood Mountain Journal is created on the unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to elders past, present and future. We also acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands this journal reaches.